Saturday, July 28, 2018

Is Life Fair?

We all know someone who has done their utmost to serve others, or have been generous with their time and money. They've been kind and see the best in people. They work hard and accept struggles graciously. And then disaster strikes.

There are also those who spend most of their time thinking about themselves, who withhold their blessings. They cheat on their taxes, overcharge customers. They can't be bothered to help others. Sometimes they are unkind. And yet, they are blessed financially and socially.


Do we have to accept this injustice and simply move on? I tell myself, God knows what He's doing ... doesn't He? 

Let's see ... does He? 

There was Joseph whose brothers turned against him and sold him into slavery. He lived in Potiphars house for eleven years and was unjustly thrown into prison for at least two years. How could this happen? He was an honorable man and loved God. 

Two of my personal heroines are Helen Keller and Corrie Ten Boom. Helen Keller, as an infant, suffered an illness that left her blind and deaf. Corrie Ten Boom and her sister put their lives in jeopardy to protect the innocent during Hitler's reign, only to find themselves in a prison camp where Corrie's sister died. 

I guess life isn't fair. 

But take a closer look. Joseph continued to be faithful and trusted God. Because of his faithfulness he was released from prison and eventually ruled in Egypt. Helen Keller grew up to be an influential woman who touched the lives of thousands, perhaps millions, as did Corrie Ten Boom.

Their suffering blessed others, like you and me. They offered much. They gave much. And changed lives.

So, what should we say when we are the afflicted? We come up against something like cancer or financial ruin, the loss of a child. What then? 

James 1:2-3 says, "Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 

Should we cheer when we suffer? Not necessarily. (I'm not very good at that.) But there is joy to be found in troubled times. Our sorrows provide an opportunity for change and growth that can touch others. If we entrust our lives to God's care we become part of His blessing to the world.

So yes, I guess life can be unfair some of the time, but with God in the midst it is also part of the beauty and wonder. 

Grace and peace to you from God.


Friday, July 20, 2018

The Light

Some days seem too difficult to bear. Darkness closes in around us, and we wonder how and when will life get better. 

I have days like that. In truth, a lot of them this past year. Earlier this week I was told it is time for me to learn how to be blind. I know that, but to hear it from two professionals in one week made it more real.

The past year feels like a year of loss. In truth, it has been, but there has been a silver lining too. The Lord has walked every painful ... and joyful step with me.

Joshua 1:5 says, "No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you."

God's Word is filled with precious promises, promises that can carry us through the most agonizing days. You may be sitting at the bedside of a suffering loved one ... or watching a dear one walk away from you, or worse ... away from God. You may not know how you will provide for your family. Or your car may be in the shop again and you wonder how you'll pay for the repairs. There is an endless list of worries and fears that can haunt our days, even our dreams. But God promises we will not walk through the days and nights alone. 

Our Father waits for us to turn to Him. 

I have lived sixty-six years and there have been many times I thought my ship would sink in a worldly storm. I found myself without hope, trembling in fear ... until I looked into The Light, reached for God's hand, and placed my trust in Him.

The only way out of the darkness is to follow the light. It's always there. And as harsh as this may seem, it is our choice - darkness or light. We choose.

Philippians 4:6 - 9 is always a place in God's Word that reminds me what I need to do in troubled times.

    "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. THEN you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
    And now dear brothers, fix your thoughts on what is true, and  honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me -- everything you heard from me and saw me doing. THEN the God of peace will be with you.

I wobble along through this sometimes terrifying world, falling and stumbling. And there are moments when I feel lost and weak. But with each challenge I learn more clearly how to see the light.

It's always there. I just need to open The Book, Seek His face, Listen to His voice. And rest in Him.

Grace and peace to you from God,